Marxist Approach

2164 Words 9 Pages
Tommaso Sardone
ECN 441-21
Dr. Paulin
Research Paper
November 22nd, 2016

Marxist Approaches on Production and the Division of Labor

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and economist who became the most influential socialist economic thinkers of the 19th century. Writings of his, such as The Communist Manifesto and Capital, remain widely popular to this day. Marxist economic thinking has inspired most of the socialist and communist economic models that have risen from the communist revolutions in history. Marx was highly influenced by Friedrich Hegel’s idealism, and went on to develop his own theory on dialectical materialism. He believed that dialectics should not deal with the mental world of ideas, but instead with the material world around
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He based his theory on the Hegelian dialect because it followed the process of a ‘thesis’ leading to an ‘Anti-thesis’, and then finally from an anti-thesis to a ‘synthesis’. The thesis represents the accepted thought, but upon further study, contradictions emerge. The antithesis then emerges as the negation of the accepted thought. Finally, the synthesis is the new thought that emerges, and the synthesis eventually becomes the new accepted thesis. Hegel believed reality comes from thought, and thought is constructed from the mind. Therefore, if you want to study social changes you have to study how thoughts and ideas evolve. On the other hand, Marx did not believe that it was ideas that drove the process of social change. His argument was that dialectical theory should be based around material changes in production rather than ideas, as Hegel proposed. Marx’s framework for dialectic materialism began with Feudalism as the accepted thought (thesis). He believed changes in technology would cause a society to transition into Merchant Capitalism (antithesis). Then, the creation of new methods of production would lead the economy into Industrial Capitalism (synthesis). Marx believed that when a society experienced capital accumulation, men would seek to improve their quality of life, and would feel the need to acquire the products of other men’s labor for their own purposes. In this way, a man’s handmade products are used as a means of enslaving him to another man. Marx maintains his idea of dialectical materialism through all levels of

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